By Kenneth Justice
~Last week a relative of one of my good friend’s committed suicide….
Married, with three adult children….his suicide caught the entire family off guard…..but then again, doesn’t suicide always catch us off guard?
He and his wife had been married for over 30 years and the speculation surrounding his suicide centers around two things;
1) He was unemployed
2) He and his wife were losing their house
Debt – Debt – Debt
I swear….it seems like you can’t go five minutes in Western Culture without hearing about money problems….
There are money problems everywhere it seems!
Sadly enough, suicide is not unusual when it comes to people who are saddled with debt.
India is suffering from an epidemic of suicide.
Entire families are committing suicide!
It turns out that there are a lot of unscrupulous money lenders in India who are lending money to farmers at as much as 40% – 50% interest rates! Farmers simply can’t pay the money back and they and their families are committing mass suicide as a way to get out of the situation.
Last week in India, a married couple and their two children under the age of 10 each drank poison….all four of them committing suicide….
When I hear stories like this it really puts my life in perspective. Let’s be honest, the things I tend to think about on a daily basis seem rather trivial in the face of children under the age of 10 committing suicide because mom and dad can’t pay the mortgage on their house.
–) ‘My back hurts’
–) ‘The weather sucks’
–) ‘I wish I had a different job’
–) ‘I’m tired of being alone’
–) ‘My favorite sport’s team lost last night’
While all of those things may have a profound sense of personal meaning to some of us…..compared to committing suicide because you are overwhelmed in debt…they seem rather trivial don’t they?
I’m a bit of an emotional guy….I’m honest enough to admit that it doesn’t take a lot to make me tear up….I suspect that is one of the reasons I was drawn to counseling…..
Thus) it is easy for me to get caught up in a lot of things that are trivial. To borrow the colloquialism, I tend to make mountains out of molehills. I have a proclivity toward making ‘little’ things into ‘BIG’ things…..
But when I come across new stories about families committing suicide at an alarming rate because of debt…..well….it really puts things into perspective for my own life.
When I really think about it…..my life isn’t that bad….is it?
– Perspective –
I mean sure….there are a lot of things I would love to change or improve…..but compared to a family who’s two 10 year old boys just committed suicide because their parents can’t pay up on the debt they owe…..well my life seems rather peachy keen in comparison.
Isn’t that what so much of life is about; perspective?
When we are on the bottom we want to be on the top…..
When we are on the top we want to be somewhere else…..
I have a friend that resents any and everyone who is a business owner; he especially believes that corporate business owners are evil to the core……
I, myself being a small-business owner know firsthand that many of us….well….there are many times we business owners would love being somewhere else …..
– Perspective –
Our perspective is especially clouded when we are overloaded with busyness…..
I have noticed an alarming trend, especially in the suburbs of America, where men and women try to jam pack every waking minute with non-stop busyness……
Are people scared to have free time?
Are people scared to chill out?
Are people scared because they don’t know what to do when they aren’t moving?
– Perspective –
Whenever I travel to Latin America I am always struck with how much slower the pace of life is among our Southern neighbors. People in Latin America don’t seem to be very concerned with having to do something every moment of every day…..they are happy just being alive….they are happy being with each other.
This isn’t to say that life in Latin America is perfect and life throughout the rest of the Western World is imperfect….not at all.
But I do wonder if Latin American countries know something that the rest of us don’t; that life is precious and better spent if we are staying chilled out…..
I’m reminded of the verse, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries”
Of course…even with that verse we have to look at it with perspective because we shouldn’t completely ignore ‘tomorrow’
But there is a lot of truth behind the wisdom of letting go of our worries about tomorrow…….
– Perspective –
My heart goes out to the families in India who feel that suicide is the only way out of their financial problems…..
I wish I had a solution
I wish I had the money to help all of these families
I wish there was a solution
For now, my heart goes out to the people of India; my prayers are with them…….and as I drink my next cup of coffee I think I will spend an extra moment breathing in the preciousness of each moment.
Categories: Culture & Society